Bill Elliott: farewell to Faldo

Six-time Major champion plays last Open Old Course round

Nick Faldo
Nick Faldo has played his final Open round on the Old Course
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golf Monthly editor-at-large Bill Elliott bids farewell to Nick Faldo after his last Open Championship round on the Old Course at St Andrews

SO Nick Faldo's St Andrews odyssey is over, the lolloping six-major man pulling on that old, yellow sweater he wore last when winning here to play the final hole.

And as he made his way up the 18th he finally got what he always really wanted, genuine affection wafting out of the gathered punters and heading directly towards the most gilded golfer England has ever produced.

He finished with a one under par 71, his most significant birdie coming at the Road Hole where he putted in from off the green before raising his arms in triumph. At 10 over par he is now finished here but at least he got his big send-off which is more than Tom Watson may receive if he manages to finish tonight.

Given that it will be past supper time when The Great One yomps over those final yards there might well be not much more than a few men, a disconsolate woman and a bored dog to say farewell to one of the very finest Open competitors. I hope not, he deserves better.

Meanwhile the name that jumps out of the leading posse right now belongs to erstwhile male model Adam Scott. This is the last Open the amiable Australian will be able to play with his long putter and he is clearly trying to make the very best of it.

Related: history of the Old Course

Who knows if he can go on to win now but here's a thought...what if he does win and what if he then looks at the R&A crew and says thanks but no thanks, that'll do me for Opens! Unlikely, of course, but a deliciously ironic thought.

What is a fact is that the Open organisers are currently more concerned with how strong the wind is for the third round when that eventually gets under way. The forecasters are currently predicting proper wind up to at least 45 mph. This is a major concern.

At that speed balls can begin moving on greens especially on the holes around the loop of this Old Course. This would mean an instant cessation of activities and this Championship could very well then be destined to run on into Monday. It doesn't bear thinking about but someone has to.

This someone is Peter Dawson who is overseeing his last Open before heading off who knows where to do who knows what. Believe me, it is not the finale he is dreaming about.

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x